We thank our Metro West Learning Academy students for sharing their encouraging words this month. #beginswithU

  • "Just make sure that you're always open with someone, whether that's a parent, sibling, friend, or a teacher. Developing a stable relationship with a person or multiple people that you trust is important, especially early on in life."- Ethan O. 12th
  • "No matter how deep you think you have fallen, you will always land back on your feet. The sun will keep rising and you will keep rising with it." Macie F. 11th
  • "Dear perfect child, Always believe in yourself. Never doubt who you are and love yourself. No matter what others could say, you should always know your self worth. You are perfect the way you are and if you are able to keep this, then keep it and read it whenever you want to. I am here to let you know you're an incredible person and no matter how much you are told you aren't, always say you are enough. Focus on your life, don't let people hurt you, and always love your family because you will need them. Wish you luck!" - Destiny W. 12th
  • "Don't fall into peer pressure. Be smart. It's not the load, it's the way you carry it." - Dylan B. 12th
The lights are up, the holiday music is queued, and the “hat and mittens” weather has arrived...yep—it’s holiday season! For many, this season means wonderful times spent with family and friends, as well as a much needed reprieve from school and work. While we enjoy this time, we can sometimes become lost in the obligation of giving. We may lose sight of what is really important during this season: communion with those we love. 

While gifts are often a focus of the holidays, I challenge you to think about the non-monetary gifts that you already give (or could give) this season. Here are some ideas of how you can give without the spending the bucks:

  1. Family Time Spending low-pressure time together can strengthen your relationships and reconnect one another amidst hectic work/school/activities schedules. Watch a holiday movie, make your favorite foods, and spend some time playing in the (soon to come) snow. Consider reading a favorite holiday book together as a family, playing charades, cranking up the tunes for family karaoke, or bundling up to enjoy some fresh air on a long walk.
  2. Community Volunteering Whether it’s cleaning out those closets, donating your canned items, volunteering with UCAN or the Urbandale Food Pantry, or shoveling someone’s driveway—you can do something for the community of Urbandale. Consider challenging yourself and your family to find one new way of lending a hand in our community.
  3. Kind Comments For many, receiving kind words has a lasting impact. Maybe there are people in your life who don’t need a material gift as much as they need to know how much you care about them. Take a step to send a card or call someone and share why you appreciate them. 
  4. Other Ideas We would love to hear how families in our Urbandale Community School District choose to give. Email me, Abby Schueller, at schuellera@urbandaleschools.com with how you and your family are choosing to give this season. 

Wishing you and your family a meaningful holiday season!

Abby Schueller
Facilitator of Family Outreach
Urbandale Middle School

Did you know that  Urbandale Community Education offers online courses to help refresh or grow your skillset? You can learn at your own pace with a wide range of online courses.

All courses are led by expert instructors, many of whom are nationally known authors. Online courses are affordable, fun, fast, convenient, and geared just for you.  Learn More

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Educational Equity Statement
It is the policy of the Urbandale Community School District not to discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, sex, religion, marital status (for program), ethnic background, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, age (for employment), or socio-economic background (for program) in its educational programs and its employment practices. There is a grievance procedure for processing complaints of discrimination. If you have questions or a grievance related to this policy, please contact the District office at 11152 Aurora Avenue, Urbandale, IA or call 515-457-5000. The District’s Equity Coordinators are Dr. Keri Schlueter, Coordinator of Student Services (schlueterk@urbandaleschools.com), Mark Lane, Director of Human Resources (lanem@urbandaleschools.com), and Crista Carlile, Director of Teaching and Learning (carlilec@urbandaleschools.com).